BOOK VII. CONTAINING THREE DAYS.
14. Chapter xiv. A most dreadful chapter indeed...
At length he was overpowered by numbers, and got upon his legs; when
candles being brought, and seeing two or three of his comrades
present, he came a little to himself; but when they asked him what was
the matter? he answered, "I am a dead man, that's all, I am a dead
man, I can't recover it, I have seen him." "What hast thou seen,
Jack?" says one of the soldiers. "Why, I have seen the young volunteer
that was killed yesterday." He then imprecated the most heavy curses
on himself, if he had not seen the volunteer, all over blood, vomiting
fire out of his mouth and nostrils, pass by him into the chamber where
Ensign Northerton was, and then seizing the ensign by the throat, fly
away with him in a clap of thunder.
This relation met with a gracious reception from the audience. All the
women present believed it firmly, and prayed Heaven to defend them
from murder. Amongst the men too, many had faith in the story; but
others turned it into derision and ridicule; and a serjeant who was
present answered very coolly, "Young man, you will hear more of this,
for going to sleep and dreaming on your post."
The soldier replied, "You may punish me if you please; but I was as
broad awake as I am now; and the devil carry me away, as he hath the
ensign, if I did not see the dead man, as I tell you, with eyes as big
and as fiery as two large flambeaux."
The commander of the forces, and the commander of the house, were now
both arrived; for the former being awake at the time, and hearing the
centinel fire his piece, thought it his duty to rise immediately,
though he had no great apprehensions of any mischief; whereas the
apprehensions of the latter were much greater, lest her spoons and
tankards should be upon the march, without having received any such
orders from her.